'''Al Jolson''' (born '''Asa Yoelson'''; May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was an American singer, film actor, and comedian. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer". His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach".
Numerous well-known singers were influenced by his music, including Bing Crosby
, Rod Stewart
and others. Dylan once referred to him as "somebody whose life I can feel".
[Dix, Andrew and Taylor, Jonathan. ''Figures of Heresy'', Sussex Academic Press (2006), p. 176; quoted from Dylan's book, ''Biograph'' (1985).]
Broadway critic Gilbert Seldes
compared him to Pan (god)|the Greek god Pan
, claiming that Jolson represented "the concentration of our national health and...